Tag: "America’s Morning News"

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

| September 10, 2013

trn logoDrama Continues to Unfold Around Talk Radio Network.  On the heels of Talk Radio Network CEO Mark Masters’ announcement on Monday afternoon  (9/9) that his ongoing battle with WestwoodOne (formerly Dial Global) over ad sales revenue has caused him to have to shut down the America’s Radio News Network and greatly pare his TRN staff as well as ask those still with the company to work without paytantarosandrea temporarily, come a number of developments over the past 24 hours.  First, late morning talk host (and Fox News Channel personality) Andrea Tantaros continues to host her program live as of Tuesday morning.  However, sources doylejerryreport to TALKERS that midday talk personality Jerry Doyle is not doing live, new programs and is exploring options to continue his talk show outside of the TRN operational framework.  The morning drive “America’s Morning News” went live on Monday and this morning, co-anchors John McCaslin and Lori Lundin reported to work and prepared to do the full program again.  Sources indicate McCaslin was unhappy with the state of the support staff and exited after one segment was broadcast.  Lundin remained for the rest of one hour before leaving the studios,humphriesrusty whereupon affiliates airing the program received repeat feeds of the first hour.  In afternoon drive, talk host Rusty Humphries began Monday’s program with the intent of explaining some of what has been going on within the context of the assault by special interest groups on talk radio advertisers but was shut down by engineering staff and a repeat of his program ran on Monday afternoon.  Whether Humphries returns to the air live on Tuesday afternoon remains to be seen as the situation at TRN is fluid, to say the least.

cclogoGreg Strassell Leaves CBS Radio for Same Post at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.  When news broke yesterday afternoon that Greg Strassell was exiting his SVP of programming post at CBS Radio, it was unknown where he would land.  Now, Clear Channel Media and Entertainmentstrassellgreg announces Strassell is joining the company in the same capacity.  CC says, he “will help lead programming initiatives and will report to Matt Martin, president of operations — regional markets.  Further, the company says, “Strassell is a multi-format programming veteran whose strategic brand management has impacted many major radio stations across the country…At CBS Strassell oversaw the programming strategies and teams for many brands with a special focus on the company’s pop music station expansion.  Prior to CBS he served as vice president of product development and programming for American Radio Systems.

bostonheraldradio logoTalkersTV Presents Video Documentary Tour of Boston Herald and Boston Herald Radio.  Last week (9/5) TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison visited the Boston Herald newspaper in Boston with a video camera and was given a “point of view” guided tour of the newspaper and its one-month-old, multimedia initiative - Boston Herald Radio.  The tour was guided by Boston Herald editor-in-chief Joe Sciacca, Boston Herald Radio executive producer Tom Shattuck and George Capalbo of Backbone Networks. The result is an informative one-hour documentary tour of one of talk media’s leading-edge hot spots.  To view this not-to-be-missed content please click on the TalkersTV box on the upper right column on this page.

bergmansandiMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Cliff Gardiner – Clifton Gardiner & Company, LLC.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Cliff Gardiner of Clifton Gardiner & Company, LLC located in Denver, Colorado.  Like many top-notch professional brokers, Gardiner has a radio background going back to 1956 that includes on-air work, management, and station and network ownership.  Regarding his view of the state of station sales today, he says, “We are beginning to see station sale activity awaken a bit from a long sleep.  The industry has changed and seems to be embracing a new reality, one that will likely remain in the future.  While no one is happy with a much lower EBITDA multiple, the reality is that this has always existed for most other business categories.  This adjustment is happening as well as the seeing the necessity for sellers to carefully consider, and embrace, realistic carrybacks for buyers, especially in smaller markets.”  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

ktrsKTRS, St. Louis Fills Gap Left by Steve Cochran.  Talk show host Steve Cochran had been doing a midday show for CH Holdings’ KTRS, St. Louis from Chicago where he’s now fully ensconced in the morning drive gig at Tribune’s WGN.  To fill the gap, the station moves Martin Kilcoyne to the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm shift and former night personality John Carney to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot with the two co-hosting the 12:00 noon hour.

whfs save baseballCBS Radio’s ’98.7 The Fan’ Launches Campaign to Save Rays Baseball.  Losing a Major League Baseball franchise would be a blow to CBS Radio’s drive to build a successful sports talk station in the market.  But MLB commissioner Bud Selig has stated the league is not happy with the support the market is giving the Tampa Bay Rays in terms of attendance despite the club fielding successful teams.  The league states, “Last year, the 30 Major League clubs averaged nearly 2.5 million in total attendance; the Rays, who finished with a 90-72 record, drew 1,559,681, which ranked last in the game.”  So WHFS-FM “98.7 The Fan” is launching “Save Tampa Bay Baseball,” a multi-tiered campaign to help keep the Rays in the region. But because St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster has said Major League Baseball does not “seem interested in a cooperative effort to keep the Rays in the Tampa Bay region for the long term,” the station is taking action.  The campaign involves launching the website www.SaveTampaBayBaseball.com to raise awareness that the Rays may be in danger of leaving Tampa Bay, as well as a petition drive to let Major League Baseball know that the Rays belong in Tampa Bay.  The “98.7 The Fan” Street Team will canvass the downtown area offering Save Tampa Bay Baseball window stickers to all local merchants who support the Rays.  In addition, “98.7 The Fan” will host an official Save Tampa Bay Baseball Rally on September 12 at Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill – home of the 98.7 The Fan “Fan Cave” – before the Rays vs. Boston Red Sox game.  WHFS-FM program director John O’Connell states, “At ‘98.7 The Fan,’ we strongly believe it’s in the best interest of the Tampa Bay community to keep Major League Baseball here.  We will support our hometown Rays every way we can, and encourage Rays fans and the Tampa/St. Petersburg community to join us.”

Marlene Trevino Returns to Clear Channel as Market Manager for San Antonio.  Marlene Trevino moves to San Antonio from her most recent position with CBS Radio as general sales manager at Spanish KMVK, Dallas “La Grande 107.5.”  Now, she’ll head up Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s San Antonio cluster as president and market manager.  She says, “Since I am a product of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s training and leadership development, I am most excited about the opportunity to come back to the Clear Channel family.  I am proud to have the opportunity to lead a successful market like San Antonio.  With the help of the current San Antonio team and the diverse opportunities this market offers, I am thrilled to get started on the efforts that will bring us even greater growth.”  She served as senior account executive for the company’s hot AC KDMX in Dallas in 2002.

quiversrobinRobin Quivers Reports She’s Cancer Free.  Longtime Howard Stern sidekick Robin Quivers has been away from the SiriusXM Howard Stern studios for most of the past year.  She opened up on the program about her status saying she had a mass on her pelvis that doctors were certain was cancer and she underwent surgery to remove what turned out to be a tumor the size of a grapefruit.  Quivers said the tumor began in her endometrial tissue and since the surgery has been undergoing chemotherapy.  She says the doctors believe her to be cancer free.  She has been working from a studio in her home during her treatment.

jacobsleighNuVoodoo Appoints Leigh Jacobs EVP of Perceptual Research.  NuVoodoo Media Services CEO Carolyn Gilbert announces Leigh Jacobs – a co-founder of the company – is being charged with heading its perceptual studies services, analyzing consumer research for radio stations, television and newspaper as EVP of perceptual research.  Jacobs served as EVP, research, for Critical Mass Media for nearly a decade and was named VP, research, for the Tribune Company in 2008.  He specializes in perceptual analysis and consumer insights across radio, television and newspaper, and has consulted with media outlets in every major U.S. media market.  Jacobs moved into media research after a 15-year career as program director for AC, hot AC and classic rock stations in Louisville, Detroit, Baltimore and Philadelphia, and for iconic talk station New Jersey 101.5.  Gilbert states, “As primary perceptual analyst for Critical Mass Media for many years and later as VP of research for the Tribune Company, Leigh Jacobs distinguished himself as one of the most talented perceptual analysts in media research.  He has looked under the hoods of hundreds of America’s top radio stations and given them reliable data and nuanced insights that have helped drive the growth of their audiences and brands.  His extensive perceptual work with television news and newspapers while at the Tribune Company makes Leigh the whole package.  He’s a research powerhouse and secret weapon for leading media outlets across the radio-television-newspaper spectrum.  We are proud to share Leigh’s expertise and insights with NuVoodoo clients.”

kex logoClear Channel Drops News/Talk KEX Simulcast, Debuts Alternative ‘Radio 102.3’ in Portland.  The FM simulcast of Clear Channel’s news/talk KEX, Portland is gone as the company creates an alternative rock station to air on translator K272EL.  It’s unclear just how much juice KEX was getting from the FM signal – though it has a good location pretty much smack-dab in the middle of the Portland metro.  Recent PPM data from Arbitron show KEX riding several shares behind competitor KXL in the 6+ demo.

ecigEmerging Category May Be Looking at an Ad Ban. Billion-dollar industries – with attractive ad budgets – are not exactly popping up every few months, and a relative newcomer that fits that criterion may already be preparing to encounter marketing restrictions.  According to a report last week from financial services group CLSA Americas, the Food and Drug Administration will likely propose a television ban for advertising e-cigarettes.  It would figure that if television were to be affected, a similar impact would be felt in radio.  A Citibank report earlier this year indicated that spending on e-cigarette TV commercials climbed roughly 18% (2011 – 2012), while print ad spending among e-cigarette marketers increased 72%.  Whereas tobacco companies have been off radio and television for more than 40 years, the e-cigarette category is unregulated.  E-cigarette makers say they will continue marketing their product across a range of media unless – and until – a ban is introduced.  Reynolds American spokesperson David Howard told Ad Age last week, “In lieu of regulations, we will look at all mediums – including TV, print, radio, point of sale and direct mail – to communicate with adult smokers.”  The FDA is expected to weigh in on the matter next month.

Syria Tensions/Assad Interview, India Gang Rape Conviction, Massachusetts ‘Under God’ Challenge, and NFL Season Kicks Off Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/9).  The debate over taking military action against Syria and Bashar al Assad’s interview with Charlie Rose; the conviction of four Indian men in the fatal gang rape of a student; the Massachusetts Superior Court case challenging the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools; and the start of the 2013 NFL season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 29, 2013

| July 29, 2013

bostonheraldradio logoBoston Herald Radio Launches August 5 at 6:00 am ET.  The concept of the full-blown, digital-age “media station” predicted and described for the past decade by Michael Harrison and other radio industry visionaries will be taking a giant leap toward coming to fruition at 6:00 am ET on August 5.  The Boston Herald newspaper is unveiling its ambitious new initiative “Boston Herald Radio” – a Boston-centric news/talk/sports radio station that will begin its life as a venue for four live three-hour shows running weekdays from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.  These programs include:

katzjeffspeaks-          6:00 am to 9:00 am – “Live from the Newsroom with Jeff Katz” (Katz is a well-known talk industry personality most recently heard in Boston on WRKO and Talk 1200.)

-          9:00 am to 12:00 noon – “Morning Meeting with Jaclyn Cashman and Hillary Chabot” (Cashman is a former Springfield, MA TV anchor/reporter and multimedia consultant and Chabot is the chief political reporter with the Boston Herald.)

-          12:00 noon to 3:00 pm – “The Michael Graham Show” (Graham is a former WTKK host and current Boston Herald op-ed grahammichaelcolumnist.)

-          3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – “Sports Town with Jon Meterparel and Jen Royle” (Meterparel is a former WEEI personality and current Boston College play-by-play announcer and Royle is an Emmy-award winning Major League Baseball reporter, TV/radio host.)

This will be the first news/sports/talk radio platform in the Boston market backed up by a full multimedia newsroom under the brand of a major newspaper and one of a handful of such operations beginning to pop up around the country.  News reports will be provided capalboshattuckthroughout the broadcast day by Boston Herald editors and reporters.  Feature elements will include Boston Herald music, TV, movie reviews, political and business reports, style and food segments as well as live reports from staff reporters who travel with all four major teams and provide extensive high school sports coverage.  The stream will be managed by Backbone Networks (the same company working on the forthcoming mid-August launch of TalkersRadio) and carried by Tune In as well its home base on the Boston Herald website and its mobile news and sports apps.  The shows will be streamed from a studio adjacent to the Boston Herald newsroom.  The studio team includes executive producer Tom Shattuck (formerly of WRKO and WTKK) and two part-time producers (Shattuck pictured at right, is here with Backbone Networks VP of engineering development George Capalbo, at left).  Boston Herald editor-in-chief Joe Sciacca tells TALKERS, “Consumers want news and information that is mobile, and they want to be active participants connecting and collaborating on the issues of the day, not passive receptors being lectured to.  That is our mission in print, online, in video presentations and now Boston Herald Radio.”  Sciacca adds, “I see myself not as a newspaper editor but as the leader of a news organization that creates high-quality, original content for use across platforms — whether it is print, web or broadcast.”   According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who was writing and speaking about the potential of newspaper websites providing radio broadcasters with powerful platforms to operate on the internet as long as 10 years ago,  “This amazing development in Boston marks the tipping point in the evolution of the digital-age news and entertainment platform.  The brilliant and obvious idea of newspapers and radio stations rubbing their two sticks together (literally and figuratively) will send sparks flying that will potentially proliferate into a  21st century ‘media station’ wildfire.  By ‘media station’ I mean an online platform that has the cultural stationality of a radio station, a television station, a newspaper and a magazine combined – all in one location – fueled and synergized by the combined resources of each.”  Harrison maintains that the internet alone is not a practical platform.  He says, “By itself, the internet has no form, no definition and no prestige, similarly neither do the so called ‘airwaves’ of 20th century audio and video media.  The key is to build prestigious, well-defined platforms that will sail across the internet — the way ships, yachts and ocean liners sail the seas and the way glorious theaters give Broadway its pizzazz or great stadiums separate the big leagues from sandlot baseball.  If an actor, dancer or musician is performing ‘on Broadway,’ that could mean they are doing their act on the stage of the Winter Garden or on the sidewalk in front of the Winter Garden.  It is the same thing with the internet.  Prestigious, well-resourced platforms give you a place to put the key to monetization: a box office!”  Walter Sabo, CEO of the New York City-based consultancy firm Sabo Media (whose clients have included SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Parade magazine and numerous leading radio firms and talent), says, “When Jeff Katz or Michael Graham are on the air doing their shows in a studio right next to the Boston Herald newsroom, they will be one door away from an-in house news gathering and processing operation that employs hundreds of journalists.  This is a brilliant move!”  Sabo adds that his firm has been developing a new division for the past several months that will specialize in advising newspapers in executing this kind of move, stating, “I have been hearing from a number of publications – dailies and weeklies – that are very interested in pursuing these exciting new opportunities, but they realize that they not only need people with on-air broadcast experience, but people who have broadcasting management insight as well.  The Boston Herald was smart to hire Tom Shattuck.”  Summing up the synergy aspect of his new media station, Boston Herald editor-in-chief Sciacca tells TALKERS, “Our multimedia reporters are producing award-winning purcellsciaccavideo reports every day, producing broadcast-quality segments with compelling interviews and streaming content.  Is this a TV newsroom?  An online newsroom?  A radio station?  A newspaper?  It’s today’s Boston Herald.”  He continues, “The power of Boston Herald Radio when it comes to breaking news will be incredible.  Listeners can be confident they will be not only engaged and entertained by our talk shows, but will be insiders on breaking news in real time.”  Boston  Herald publisher and president Patrick J. Purcell (pictured at left with Joe Sciacca, right, in the Boston Herald newsroom) says, “Internet radio is exploding and it makes sense that the Herald rounds out our multimedia platform with talk radio programming.  It’s perfect synergy.  Boston Herald Radio will be fast-paced, uncensored, entertaining, completely interactive and, most important, very respectful to our listeners.  We have a terrific team of seasoned hosts who are smart, respected and extremely versatile.  They live in our communities and fully understand and appreciate the complexities of issues folks care about.”

sabowalterMemo to Newspapers on the Verge of Launching Radio Stations on Their Websites:  Do it Correctly!  Noted radio consultant Walter Sabo is no stranger to working in the intersection between print media and talk radio.  In a new advice column posted today (7/29), he offers several key points from a list of essential ingredients that are required for talk-oriented media stations based on publication websites to achieve success and longevity.  He advises newspaper executives to hire experienced radio executives to lead the station as well as seasoned, accomplished talk hosts to execute it.  He suggests protecting and growing the brand by taking advantage of the traffic already on the website and creating programming that delivers topics in which newspaper readers are already interested.  Most of all, understand that talk show hosts are like newspaper columnists – more so than reporters.  Listeners realize this and do not expect the spoken word of opinion to mimic the printed word of editorial fact and objectivity.  To read Walter Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

cumulusAnother Report of a Cumulus Split from Limbaugh and Hannity.  We’ve heard these rumors before about Cumulus Media dropping Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and the latest comes from Politico.  The mag reports that inside sources say Cumulus is not satisfied with the results of negotiations to reduce the cost of airing the Limbaugh and Hannity programs on their 40-some news/talk stations that carry them.  Both contracts reportedly are limbaughrushup at the end of this year.  As most industry insiders are aware, there are cash considerations as well as inventory that airs outside the actual programs associated with carrying Limbaugh and Hannity and that, presumably, is what the bone ofhannitysean contention is.  Politico does report that a Cumulus spokesperson said the company does not comment on negotiations with talent under contract.  Cumulus holds its Q2 conference call tomorrow morning but don’t hold your breath waiting for Lew Dickey to comment on the Limbaugh/Hannity issue.  The tone of the Politico piece makes it sound as though this is about the politics of Limbaugh and Hannity and whether the “Sandra Fluke case” is still haunting the sales efforts.  If that were the case, negotiations over the cost of the programs would be irrelevant.  Ultimately, the Dickeys’ decision will likely be based upon whether they make enough money off of Limbaugh and Hannity to justify the cost while considering what the company could do with personalities such as Michael Savage, Mark Levin and Mike Huckabee to cover the time slots now held by Limbaugh and Hannity.

millerchrisThe Social Media Trick You Don’t Know You Know.  Although the term “call to action” has a slightly different application in broadcasting than it does in social media, it is increasingly growing in importance as a concept to managing content in the digital arena.  In a new column posted today (7/29), noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says that radio broadcasters can apply “call to action” concepts with which they are very familiar from their broadcasting experience to social media with merely a few tweaks and turns of a phrase.  To read Miller’s entire column, please click here.

kjce-am logoEntercom Splits KJCE-AM/FM, Austin Simulcast; New Lineup for KJCE-AM.  The FM side of Entercom’s KJCE, Austin becomes an urban AC outlet as the new “96 R&B” featuring Premiere NetworksSteve Harvey in morning drive.  KJCE-AM remains news/talk as “News Radio 1370” with some additions to the lineup, returning Talk Radio Network’s “America’s Morning News.”  Entercom Austin vice president and market manager Alan Kirshbom states, “By bringing back ‘America’s Morning News’ from 5:00 am to 8:00 am and moving Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham to live programming from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, KJCE once again proves it is Austin’s and Texas’ Talk Station.”  The station is also bringing back Dial Global’s Dennis Miller to air from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm followed by Dave Ramsey and Premiere NetworksSean Hannity.

kroi logoRadio One’s All-News KROI, Houston Partner with KHOU-TV for Weather.  Radio One all-news “News 92 FM” announces a partnership with CBS TV O&O “KHOU 11” for the latter to provide weather for KROI.  Radio One regional vice president Doug Abernethy states, “Why compete with the best when you can team up with the best?  KHOU 11 has built a stellar reputation as a local weather leader in Houston and we are thrilled to welcome KHOU 11 and their outstanding meteorologists to join our 24-hour ‘News 92 FM’ team to provide our audience the best, most accurate, up-to-the-minute weather coverage.”

michaelsbillSyndicated Bill Michaels Sports Talk Program Adds Madison.  Based at Entercom sports talk WSSP, Milwaukee, the statewide syndicated Bill Michaels program announces it will add Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s WOZN-AM, Madison “The Zone” beginning August 8.  The midday sports talk show airs live from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and is in its second year of syndication.  “We’re delighted to welcome another Mid-West Family Broadcasting station to the Bill Michaels Sports Network,” says Michael Keck, vice president and market manager for Entercom Wisconsin.  “Bill’s enthusiasm and talent is contagious and that’s a big reason we continue to grow.”  Michaels comments, “This is a dream come true.  I feel like I’m now able to reach all Wisconsin sports fans.  I’m anxious to connect with the strong sports fan base that is represented in Mad-town.”

jacksonkevin‘The Black Sphere’ Radio Show Gaining Traction.  The Kevin Jackson-hosted “Black Sphere Radio Show” announces it adds WEZO, Augusta, Georgia to its list of affiliate stations.  Earlier this year the program added Salem Communications’ WGUL and WLSS in the Tampa-St. Petersburg and Sarasota markets.  Program senior producer Mickey White says, “Kevin is gaining in popularity and we will be adding markets and new sponsors in the very near future.  Kevin’s blend of entertainment with politics is getting lots of attention.  We are in talks with stations across the country, including some large market stations in Nevada, Colorado and California and we expect to make a lot of big announcements in the near future.”

rhodesaustinMan Arrested After Threatening WGAC, Augusta’s Austin Rhodes.  A 25-year old Augusta, Georgia man was taken into custody last week and held on $2,600 bond after allegedly threatening WGAC, Augusta talk show host Austin Rhodes with bodily harm.  After Darnell Tyray Chambers made what Rhodes considered a threatening statement about him on Facebook, he reported the threat as per Beasley Broadcast Group company policy.  According to the Columbia County News-Times, police arrested Chambers on charges of making terroristic threats and acts.

handel20yearsKFI, Los Angeles Celebrates 20 Years of Bill Handel.  Clear Channel news/talk giant KFI, Los Angeles is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bill Handel as the morning drive talk personality on the station.  Handel began hosting the program in July of 1993 but the station says it will officially celebrate the anniversary with an extravaganza for listeners in November but on Friday, July 26, Rich Marotta, Michelle Kube, Mike Nolan, Neil Saavedra and Gary Hoffmann reminisced about their favorite Handel moments during the 5:00 am hour of the program.  To say that Handel is important to the station’s success would be an understatement.  Handel is consistently one of the highest-rated daily talk radio programs in the country in terms of cume.

Monday, February 27, 2012

| February 27, 2012

GOP Candidates Flocking to Talk Radio in Close Primary Race.  In a piece on Mitt Romney’s talk radio appearances in Michigan and Arizona prior to tomorrow’s primaries in those states at Politico yesterday (2/26), writer Keach Hagey speaks with local and national talk show hosts on candidates’ use of talk radio during a campaign like this.  The piece notes that Romney has historically been a bit aloof towards talk radio – unlike Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – but with the race with Santorum particularly close, he’s been all over the medium.  Hagey quotes TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison offering the reason for this turn of events.  “When they’re ahead, they don’t like going on talk radio because they are afraid of making a mistake, and talk radio is a wonderful place for making a mistake.  If he were clearly the front-runner, then he would do less talk radio.”  During a GOP primary race when candidates are speaking to core voters on conservative talk radio-formatted stations, they use the medium to differentiate themselves from the others.  Hagey’s piece quotes Santorum national communications director Hogan Gidley saying, “Mitt Romney’s well-funded attack machine is on their seek-and-destroy mission, and talk radio is often the avenue Rick Santorum uses to dispel those false accusations.  We have been on talk radio probably more than any of the other candidates combined.”  With the Michigan and Arizona primaries tomorrow, Talk Radio Network-syndicated “America’s Morning News” with John McCaslin and Dana Mills is the beneficiary with interviews with  Mitt Romney at 8:15 am today and Rick Santorum at 8:30 am.

INNOVATIVE MODEL SET FOR NEW MEDIA SEMINAR 2012.  Plans have been set for the 15th annual installment of the New Media Seminar, the longest-running, largest and most important annual talk media industry convention.  This year’s version marks the innovative launch of an updated model sensitive to the tough economic and stressful conditions of the times. Significant restructuring has been applied to lower the costs of registration, accommodations and travel as well as moving the event from the weekend to a weekday.  According to TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, “Both conferences will be national in scope and regional in flavor, a recipe that worked amazingly well at last year’s successful experiment, the Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum.”

NMS 2012 will consist of two one-day conferences.  The first will be held in New York City on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at the Concierge Conference Center on Manhattan’s East Side.  The second – presented in association with the Los Angeles Press Club – will take place on Thursday, October 11 in Los Angeles at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.

According to Harrison, “We learned a tremendous amount at last year’s ‘happening’ in L.A.  There is something very exciting, fulfilling and productive about one single, power-packed day with no time-wasting fat or money-wasting frills.  It was executed purposefully under the radar to test the waters for this new model on a national scale and it succeeded beyond our wildest expectations, reaching maximum registration capacity in a matter of days.  Although the New Media Seminar has actually grown consistently larger and has been a sell-out every year of its existence, we recognize that conditions are such that a change would eventually be necessary as well as beneficial to the working person in our business – at least during this stressful period of tight budgets and high industry economic uncertainty.  At TALKERS we insist on being ahead of the curve.  Industry conferences need to include and be accessible to professionals in the trenches as well as the corporate elite.  This new model is a gift to the business.”

Because quick sell-outs for each event are expected, registration will be limited to working media.  For registration and sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or e-mail her at barbara@talkers.com.  Further details, agenda updates and hotel information will be announced in the coming days here at Talkers.com and in the TALKERS morning headlines e-mailer.  Stay tuned!

NPR Announces Promotions and New Executive Structure.  NPR promotes Kinsey Wilson to the position executive vice president and chief content officer and makes Margaret Low Smith the senior vice president of NPR news, a position she’s been serving in the “acting” vein since last January.  NPR president and CEO Gary Knell states, “This is a time of great opportunity for NPR and our member stations.  In Kinsey and Margaret we have two journalists, strategists and leaders with a keen understanding of the craft that distinguishes NPR – and how we must continue to innovate and evolve.  Our collective aim is to work with stations to become an unrivaled leader in news and cultural coverage that reaches all Americans, no matter how they tune in.”  Wilson has been with NPR since 2008 as SVP and general manager of digital media.  NPR also announces Eric Nuzum steps permanently into the vice president for programming role.  Plus, vice president of diversity in news & operations Keith Woods is charged with broadening with member stations to support public radio’s drive for greater diversity in its audience, staffing and content.  Woods will work closely with vice president for membership and audience partnership Joyce MacDonald.

Ric Edelman’s Weekly Financial Talk Show Clears KFI, Los Angeles.  “The Truth About Money with Ric Edelman” – the nationally syndicated financial talk show hosted by one of the nation’s top-ranked financial advisors – is added to the weekend lineup at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s KFI, Los Angeles airing Sundays from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  Edelman’s program is now heard in 54 markets, including 25 of the top 30 markets.  Edelman says. “I’m excited to join KFI’s outstanding lineup and look forward to bringing financial education to so many people in Southern California.”

KGO, San Francisco Makes Changes to Weekend Schedule; More News Content Added.  Responding to listener feedback, the Cumulus Media Group station announces changes to its weekend schedule that includes the addition of traffic reports every 10 minutes plus live weather reports with ABC 7 meteorologists to serve listeners out in their cars on the weekend.  News and program director Brian Hosley announces two new programs: “Cooking with Ryan Scott,” airing Saturdays from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, and “The Monty Show,” hosted by Tim Montemayor and airing from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.  Hosley says Montemayor’s show will address local and timely issues.  Montemayor is an East Bay resident who has worked in Los Angeles, Chicago and St. Louis as well as being syndicated nationally with Sporting News Radio.  “He is a self-proclaimed ‘news junkie’ and is excited to talk with listeners about the stories that matter to them most.”

Cox Media Group’s WXKT-FM, Gainesville, Georgia Prepares for Martha Zoller’s Congressional Run.  The station positioned as “Bulldog 103.7” – Cox Media Group’s talk and sports hybrid WXKT-FM – is running a contest for a fill-in for “one of our most popular hosts” who “will be occupied for a few months.”  The station doesn’t mention Martha Zoller by name but the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon host has said she’ll run as a Republican for the new congressional seat created by population changes and redistricting.  The station is asking, “Do you have strong ties to the Gainesville area?  Do you keep abreast of local, state and national issues?  Can you have civil discussions with those who hold differing viewpoints?  Can you keep talking and keep it interesting for hours on end?  Then Bulldog 103.7 has a microphone with your name on it.”  Applicants must write the station and in 100 words or less tell why they should get the gig.

Clear Channel’s Hartford Sports Talkers Split Affiliation.  The new FM sports talk station Clear Channel Media and Entertainment put on the air recently – WUCS 97.9 FM ESPN – has been simulcasting with AM sister WPOP.  Beginning March 5, WPOP will break off from the simulcast and affiliate with Fox Sports Radio.  It will also carry the DirecTV-produced and Premiere Networks-distributed Dan Patrick show.

Opinion: Richard Neer Responds to Phil Valentine.  Regarding the debate over the use of terms or phrases on broadcasts or in print historically regarded as ethnic slurs, TALKERS sports editor Richard Neer responds to Dial Global Nashville-based talk host Phil Valentine who wrote this opinion piece called “Controlling the Language” published by TALKERS on Friday (2/24).  Valentine was responding to Neer’s original column published last week here.  In his response, Neer contests the notion that “words can’t hurt” and points out humanity’s tendency toward ethnic pride as one of the underlying reasons why ethnic slurs exist in the first place.  Read Neer’s piece here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

| September 8, 2011

WEEI Goes FM in Beantown; FM Sports Talk War Begins.  Two years ago CBS Radio made major changes to its FM properties in Boston and created WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” to challenge Entercom’s WEEI, even hiring away some of the younger staff that had been working at WEEI.  A strong, quick climb in the ratings by WBZ-FM – especially in younger demos – showed that station to be a worthy competitor to WEEI.  Now, Entercom fires back by dumping the classic hits format on WMKK-FM “Mike FM” and simulcasting WEEI on FM, beginning Monday, September 12.  Entercom will make the announcement official today (9/8) at 8:00 am ET on the Dennis & Callahan morning show.  WMKK-FM is licensed to Lawrence – north of Boston – and that will certainly help with coverage.  WEEI, although a 50k directional station at 850 AM, has a notoriously sketchy signal.  In fact, one of the amazing things about WEEI’s success over the past 20 years has been its ability to thrive with the poor signal.  Now, though, Entercom hopes to gain younger demos by being on FM along with its new, improved FM home in the sports-crazy Boston market.

From the Broadcast Booth to the Campaign Trail: Martha Zoller to Run for Congress.  What was reported by TALKERS earlier comes to pass as Gainesville, Georgia-based talk show host Martha Zoller announces she will run as a Republican for the newly created congressional seat in North Georgia next year.  Zoller’s camp states she has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission .  Zoller is based out of Cox Media Group’s WXKT-FM, Gainesville and the company’s legal counsel advises her that she may remain on the air until she becomes a “qualified candidate” with Georgia officials next spring, according to an Associated Press report.  Zoller states, “I have been involved in radio for 15 years now, not just giving my opinion, but helping my listeners analyze the critical issues of the day.  Most importantly, I have given people a chance to be heard.”  Zoller is a popular conservative talk host, not only in the North Georgia region, but nationally due to her work on cable news/talk TV and other high-profile appearances.  However, she is not the only Republican to be interested in running for the seat representing the new district.  Georgia Republican State Representative Doug Collins – a former U.S. Air Force chaplain and floor leader for Georgian Governor Nathan Deal – is also seeking the seat.

CBS Radio Names Rona Danziger WXYT, Detroit PD.  CBS Radio is splitting off WXYT-AM from the current AM/FM simulcast of sports talk “The Ticket” and debuts Talk Radio 1270 AM WXYT on September 12.  The company announces it is bringing Detroit programming pro Rona Danziger aboard to manage the station’s shows.  Danziger – who most recently programmed Clear Channel’s crosstown sports WDFN – begins her duties immediately.  She says, “I’m thrilled to be part of the launch of Talk Radio 1270.  I can’t wait to work with Charlie Langton and the terrific staff at CBS Radio.  I’m excited to program a radio station that will bring edgy, opinionated and highly entertaining conservative talk radio to Detroit.”  The station also features Premiere Networks’ Glenn Beck and “Coast to Coast” with George Noory; Talk Radio Network’s Laura Ingraham and Rusty Humphries; Genesis Communications Network’s Jason Lewis; and Compass Media NetworksTodd Schnitt.

Tom Leykis on TALKERS TV.  In what can be described as the “Dance of the Lifestyle Hosts” or talk radio’s version of “Beauty and the Beast,” the legendary Tom Leykis is caught on video in a rare conversation recorded at the recent New Media Seminar 2011 in which he shows his charming (yet provocative) side.  He is interviewed by New Jersey 101.5 evening relationships show star Michelle Jerson and the two quickly become engaged in a good-spirited, but somewhat sparky, verbal battle of the sexes.  This is not to be missed.  Check it out on TALKERS TV on this page.

“America’s Morning News” Now Heard on More Than 135 Affiliate Stations.  The Talk Radio Network Entertainment and Washington Times collaborative morning news radio program “America’s Morning News” has added some 45 new affiliate stations this year alone to surpass the 135-affiliate mark.  The program, based at The Washington Times’ DC studios and anchored by John McCaslin and Dana Mills, is touted by its developers as “the leading source for breaking news coverage on radio, features an innovative long-form news format aimed at showcasing investigative reporting, and accountability journalism directly from the nation’s capital.”  The program is heard in 23 of the top 50 metros, according to TRNE CEO Mark Masters who says, “‘America’s Morning News’ is the direct result of a close relationship with Talk Radio Network Entertainment, The Washington Times and all of our valued syndication partners.  Working together, we’ve developed the next generation news radio programming that is rapidly gaining national audience share with over 135 affiliates secured to date.”

O’Connell and Moran Promoted at WSJRN.  Susan O’Connell is promoted to senior director of affiliate sales and Susan Moran is upped to director of affiliate marketing at The Wall Street Journal Radio Network.  WSJRN executive director Nancy Abramson says in a release, “Susan O’Connell and Susan Moran are both my mentors in the radio network business and it is a privilege to have them on my team.  Their accomplished careers and knowledge of the industry will help ensure our continued success.”  O’Connell is responsible for affiliate relations and marketing for the company’s “Wall Street Journal Report,” “Dow Jones Money Report,” “The Wall Street Journal This Morning, “The Wall Street Journal This Weekend,” and “The Daily Wrap with Michael Castner.”  Moran continues to be responsible for affiliating radio stations and overseeing the marketing and advertising for WSJRN and its affiliates.

Beth Sugrue Joins Merlin Media as Director of Integrated Programs.  Sugrue comes from CBS Radio Chicago where she was director of new business development for the past nine years.  In her new position with Merlin Media she’ll be responsible for managing the non-traditional revenue of the company’s three stations as well as the digital, non-spot and interactive sales operations.  Sugrue will report from EVP of revenue Greg Janoff who states, “Beth is a true talent who recognizes the essence of the integrated approach in the radio industry.  She has the keen ability to really understand the needs of a company and create a specialized program to solve those needs.”

Rick Buckley Memorial Service to Be Held Today.  A memorial service for Buckley Broadcasting president Rick Buckley will be held today (9/8) at 11:00 am at Christ Church Greenwich in Greenwich, Connecticut.  Buckley died unexpectedly on July 31 after suffering a brain embolism.  He had served as the president of the family broadcasting business since 1972.

 

GOP Debate, 9/11 Anniversary and Obama Jobs Speech Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/7).  The GOP presidential debate in held in Simi Valley, California last night, the approaching anniversary of 9/11 and President Obama’s scheduled address before a joint session of Congress and the nation on his jobs creations plan were three of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.